Special to The Lake Report
It’s fascinating to realize that Fort George, completed in 1802 (think of it, that’s over 200 years ago), has never had a book written about it.
No, it wasn’t built as a tourist attraction and, fort-unately, a new book, “Fort George: A History,” published by the Friends of Fort George, reveals its early history and the successive episodes in the life of this Niagara-on-the-Lake treasure.
What we see today is the fort that rose like a Phoenix from the remnants of its previous sad condition and was painstakingly restored in the 1930s as a Depression-era work project.
There are lots of photos and postcards of the fort in the subsequent era, but the extensive story of Fort George during the preceding decades has now been documented by a group of authors well-known to area historians for their knowledge and expertise.
I could tell you about those long-ago years, but I won’t – so that you will buy the book!
(It’s available now and an official book launch is planned for Dec. 1.)
But I will tell you the names of the authors who contributed to this valuable history. I’ll mention them in alphabetic order because they are all equally important historical resources.
The are: Tony Chisholm, (who is also president of the Friends of Fort George); Ronald Dale; Amanda Gamble; Dan Laroche; Joseph Last; Richard Merritt and Wes Turner. If those names don’t resonate with you, then you need to get more involved with our local history with the Friends of Fort George and the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum.
There is no other book dedicated solely to the history of Fort George and it’s available in either hardcover or softcover formats.
You might prefer softcover for yourself but want a hardcover copy to send to your own equivalent of Great Aunt Matilda in Calgary who has everything, expects a Christmas gift and is almost impossible to buy for.
Buy her the hardcover copy to impress her. It’s a manageable 150 pages – not a big, thick book – so the postage won’t blow your budget. And she will get one of the few things that she doesn’t have already.
Expect to find it online at the Friends website www.friendsoffortgeorge.ca or in these restricted winter hours at the gift shops at the fort or the NOTL Museum.
And here’s a tip – you can get yourself or your aunt a special author-signed copy at the book launch at Navy Hall (just Google “Navy Hall” if you don’t know where it is) from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1.
She will treasure it and you definitely won’t get this author-signed chance again. So, I will see you there, when I will be buying a hardcover copy to send to my equivalent of a Great Aunt Matilda in Calgary.